Calories, Time, Distance

I’m still new to kayaking, recently upgraded to a Tahe Marine Midi and going longer distances. I’m not entirely sure how to figure out how much energy I’m putting out but want to learn so I can maximize my time on the water without bonking. I cycle and run so I have a better estimate for what my energy needs are for these activities.

For instance today I did 3 hours on a calm river out and back with a mild head wind after subtracting stop times. I took one energy gel when I was feeling like I needed it. I think I covered about 13 or so miles in this time. I’m wondering how I can calculate an actual reasonable caloric expenditure.

For longer times on the water I’m curious to know what you guys do for energy intake.

You need to take nurishment before
you feel you need it.

Here is a typical for me on a 25 mile training paddle at race pace last week I drink and eat by the mile and that way I know I am getting what I need.

  1. I drink water every three miles on a cool day and ever two miles on a 90 degree day

    2 a couple of peanut butter crackers at mile six
  2. a energy bar, (home made by my wife) at mile 12

    4 half a power gel(mixed in a small water bottle) at mile 18
  3. the other half at mile 22

    The longer you train, the more you’ll find what works for you.

    Sometimes I’ll have two water supplies, One will be with watered down coke. That was my magic drink on century bike rides

    jack L

I carry gels for longer (3-4 hr) workout paddles and take 1 per hour. 1 gel=100 cals.

We all have plenty of on board fat calories to burn. 1 gel per hour keeps the fire going and the rest comes from stored fat and glycogen.

I like Nuun or GuBrew in warm weather as I sweat a lot. They dissolve in your water like alka-seltzer and are electrolytes without any sugar.

I’m 190 pounds…

– Last Updated: Sep-04-13 7:08 AM EST – I can figure is my average burn is ~425 calories per hour. On trips I paddle 5 - 8 hours per day average. I budget body fat into my intake and year after year it amounts to about 5 pounds per week. I carry a flask of Hammer Gel in my PFD for top offs.

Oatmeal for breakfast - ~420 calories.

~ 1.5 - 2 hours later I eat a Probar - 370 - 400 calories

Lunch consists of a burrito with salamie and cheese - ~600 calories

~ 2 hours later I eat a Hammer Bar - 220 calories

Dinner is freeze dried something or other based more on my perceived caloric needs rather than flavor - 450 - 600 calories.

I take a hit of Hammer Gel whenever I think I am just about to feel myself lag a bit - 100 calories.

I find it's important for me to not let myself fall behind that curve as it's harder to catch up than to keep up.

I carry only plain water in my hydration pack. Nothing against flavored stuff other than the way it taints the taste of plain water.

Here are a couple of links that you might find interesting:

It works for me.


Current issue of SeaKayaker . . .
has an article on exactly this topic.

Recipe for her energy bars?
Jack, can you post your wife’s recipe for those energy bars? Love to have it. Thanks.

G in NC

Here you go
Energy Bars

250 degrees – about 1 ½ hours – 9 x12 pan (or you can halve this recipe and use an 11 x 7 pan)

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

4 cups oats (quick cooking)

1 cup flaked coconut

2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used Publix Tropical mix….2 pkgs….small boxes)

1 cup chopped walnuts (Publix bag of nuts …I chopped them with the sweetened condensed milk can)

1 cup chopped dates (Sunsweet)

1 handful craisins……approx ½ cup

½ cup flax seeds ….ground

Note: Some add sunflower, pumpkin & sesame seeds (1/3 cup each) - I add dates, craisins and flax instead,

Warm condensed milk in a large bowl in the microwave for about 40 seconds.

Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Put into baking pan – level – and press down firmly.

Bake for 1-1 ½ hours.

Cool & cut into bars.

We used to eat a big pancake breakfast on the morning of a marathon race, but now we used these instead These will be our mainstay on the Adirondack three day 90 miler which starts Friday in Old Forge NY.

We are on the road heading up there now

Warning! don’t start eating them as snacks. You’ll end up weighing 300 pounds

Jack L